ALBURY Tigers overcame the absence of several key players to score a comfortable 16-5 victory over Northside Stingrays in Ovens and Murray men’s water polo at WAVES on Sunday.
Despite having no subs, Tigers got on top after a slow start to put further breathing space between themselves and their bottom-placed opponents.
This year’s wooden-spooner will miss finals in the four-team competition.
Co-coach Jack Baker said it was a solid performance.
“It was a real tug-of-war early but we played pretty well after that,” Baker said.
“With no subs, it was a good effort.”
Tigers went into the clash without Harry Mitchell and Dom Bertazzo while Stingrays missed Brad Woodland.
Jimmy Scannell was outstanding for the victors with four goals with support coming from Ben Land.
Sharks and Pool Pirates played out a thrilling 10-all draw.
Matt Hogan and Shannon Gould were solid contributors for Sharks while Matt O’Connell was in the thick of the action for Pirates.
Goalkeeper Steve Sloan was rock-solid and Tom Hawkesworth made a vital contribution with coach Danny Nugent, Nash Clark and Jack Mitsch missing.
Sharks led by four goals in the first-half before Pirates hit back and went goal-to-goal in the dying minutes.
“It was a good effort,” Nugent said.
“They got a handy lead but we fought it out well.
“They beat us earlier in the season so it was a good improvement particularly with a few players missing.
“We’ve been happy with our start to the season.”
In the women’s A grade, Pool Pirates accounted for Sharks 10-6 at Albury.
Tegan Baines and Kristy Hogan were outstanding for the victors with coach Sam O’Connell rating the win as the side’s best for the season.
“Our defence was really good and saved us,” O’Connell said.
“It was close throughout the game until the last quarter when we got away with a few late goals.
“Everyone played well.”
It was Sharks’ second loss in a row with the side battling to cover the absence of several key players including goalkeeper Elyse Boyer.
Sharks struggled for their usual cohesion in the second-half with Phebe and Sophie McLeod and Georgia Polkinghorne battling gamely.
Albury Tigers blitzed Northside Wodonga 17-3.
Jacquie Coughlan dominated for the victors at centre back while Tegan Roberts made a big impact at centre forward.
In next weekend’s matches, Pool Pirates play Albury Tigers and Northside Wodonga take on Sharks.